Monday, April 18, 2011

Being sick.

Well, I'm sick. I have a cold that I'm just starting to come out of and its really knocked me for a loop. It's been so long since I was sick that I forgot how truly bad I can be at it. Some people are good patients, they take care of themselves and wait to get over it, but I'm not quite like that. Largely due to my religious upbringing, being sick brings up some hard emotions.

I love my Dad but this is the main thing I resent him for. We were raised Christian Scientist, and the main focus of that religion is that there is no illness or dysfunction. We are a perfect reflection of God and therefore have been tricked into believing we're sick. When we were sick as kids, my Dad didn't want to know about it and encouraged us to pray to get better, making us feel guilty if we weren't able to achieve wellness through prayer. In my book, I've gone through the trouble this has caused me over the years-its the central irony behind his illness and my taking care of him, even though he never took care of me when I was suffering from my big illness. In addition, I've had other loved people leave me because of illness, so part of me is always expecting that to happen, as well.

We all have things that our parents did to us, or ways we feel they neglected or hurt us. It's hard to remember that when we look at them now in the throes of their dementia. Or for some, it may be all they remember as they go about caring for the person who didn't necessarily care for them. All across the country, there are people caring for ill parents who didn't care for them and they are encouraged by society to keep doing so while not mentioning the hard feelings that might be bringing up. I want to tell all those people that you're not alone. I love my Dad and I forgive him (mostly) for the ways that he hurt me-and I'll continue to care for him. But that doesn't mean I should forget and squash down those feelings of hurt and resentment, and neither should anyone else. And I'll continue to get better at being sick.

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